The REAL ESTATE DEAL That SHUT DOWN Fry’s Electronics

Fry’s Electronics has finally shut down. At the stroke of midnight on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, the website made it official with a front-page memo. After 36 years in business, Fry’s Electronics ceased operations for 31 stores in nine states. Management blamed online shopping and COVID-19 for this sudden but not unexpected shutdown.

But online shopping and COVID-19 didn’t kill this zombie retailer.

An earlier announcement took place the day before. Planning documents filed with the city would turn the San Jose headquarters store into a tech campus. If you watched my previous videos, real estate deals resulted in store closures in the last 18 months. This real estate deal was so big that it shut down the entire company.

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Will Real Estate Developers Close Fry’s Electronics in 2021?

A clear pattern has emerged with Fry’s Electronics store closings since 2019. Almost every store closure resulted from a real estate developer buying out the lease and/or property. The exception being the North Sacramento store that “temporarily closed” after looters broke in last June. Here are four new stories about our favorite zombie retailer.

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6 Little-Known Updates About Fry’s Electronics

The coronavirus pandemic has been the perfect storm for Fry’s Electronics. Closed stores offered only curbside pickup and deliveries. Opened stores had less inventory and fewer employees than before. Since every retailer is zombie retailer these days, there’s nothing special about Fry’s Electronics. I’ll cover six little known updates about Fry’s Electronics.

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Are Real Estate Developers Shutting Down Fry’s Electronics?

Since the Palo Alto store closing announcement in September 2019, I’ve made eight videos about Fry’s Electronics Electronics being a zombie retailer. Empty parking lot, barren shelves, few customers, and the salesclerks unhelpful as always. I mentioned in some videos that I thought real estate developers would dictate future store closings. This week the San Jose Mercury News reported on a developer’s proposal to turn Fry’s Electronics’s San Jose store, warehouse, and corporate headquarters into a multi-building tech campus for 10,000 employees. Are real estate developers shutting down Fry’s Electronics?

Watch the video on YouTube or read the essay on Medium.

Big Tech YouTuber Bitwit Discovers Fry’s Electronics Going Out of Business

Fry’s Electronics used to be where local PC builders scanned the full-page newspaper ads at the entrance and went inside to buy parts. None of the big tech YouTubers that I follow had anything to say about Fry’s going out of business in recent months. That changed when Kyle and Heather of Bitwit drove over to the Fry’s Burbank store to check out what viewers have been telling them for months. They made the shocking discovery that the rumors were all true. Not just at the Burbank store but also the Las Vegas store.

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Will Fry’s Electronics Shut Down On 01/20/2020?

While reading news articles, forum posts and viewer comments about the future of Fry’s Electronics, I kept coming across a specific date for when the entire chain is to shut down for good: Monday, January 20, 2020. Which happens to be tomorrow. It’s also Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday in the United States. Will Fry’s Electronics — the entire chain and not just a few stores — shut down tomorrow?

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Fry’s Electronics Closed Two Stores During Holidays

My last video about Fry’s Electronics was the Campbell store on Black Friday having enough crap on the shelves to look like a dollar store. Never mind that a dollar store would have a much better selection. There were three updates since then, two involving store closings.

  • The Palo Alto store closed on Friday, December 27, 2019, as expected with the building lease expiring by February 2020.
  • The San Francisco Chronicle had all but called B.S. on Fry’s business model going into the New Year.
  • As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Duluth, Georgia, store closed after Thanksgiving without warning.

Is this the beginning of the end for Fry’s Electronics?

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Black Friday 2019 @ Fry’s Electronics

Three months ago my friend and I went to Fry’s Electronics after reading a news article that the Palo Alto store was closing. We visited the Campbell store to find an empty parking lot, barren shelves, few customers and less helpful salesclerks. On Black Friday 2019, we went back to the Campbell store to find cars in the parking lot, less barren shelves, more customers and still less helpful salesclerks. However, all the new inventory is just crap that people don’t need or can buy at Best Buy for less. This is a bad start to the holiday season. Will Fry’s Electronics remain open in 2020?

Will Santa Claus Save Fry’s Electronics on Black Friday?

We are one week away from Black Friday. Is Fry’s Electronics ready for the big holiday season? Are the shelves stocked with new inventory? Are the Black Friday ads announcing great deals? Are the parking lots full of cars? Oh, hell no. In fact, those are the wrong questions. Based on recent reports this week, a better question would be: Will Santa Claus save Fry’s Electronics on Black Friday?

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